If there was ever a time for the Lions’ defensive line to prove itself, this is it.
The Packers are just 1-3 in games when quarterback Aaron Rodgers is sacked three-plus times.
Green Bay allowed eight sacks to the Seahawks in a Week 3 loss, and the 49ers sacked Rodgers five times in a Week 1 win. Rodgers also suffered three sacks in a loss to the Colts in Week 5 and three against the Rams in Week 7, but the Packers won in St. Louis.
The Lions should like their matchup up front because the loss of right tackle Bryan Bulaga (hip) created a shift in the Packers’ offensive line. Left guard T.J. Lang (Brother Rice and Eastern Michigan) will play in Bulaga’s spot, and reserve Evan Dietrich-Smith (of stomping fame) will start at left guard.
Defensive tackle Corey Williams (knee) is out Sunday, but his replacement Nick Fairley has played his best games this season when starting. He has nine tackles and 1.5 sacks in three starts in 2012.
Ndamukong Suh could also play with a little extra motivation as he tries to put the stomping incident behind him, and defensive end Cliff Avril will draw a matchup against Lang, who will try to overcome the move outside.
And with the Lions missing their starting safeties again, the line will need to put pressure on Rodgers so he doesn’t have time to pick apart the Lions’ secondary.
Three sacks is by no means a magic number, but if the Lions can get to Rodgers early, their chances Sunday improve significantly.